Jessie Diggins has been hitting cross-nation snowboarding trails since she was a toddler driving in a child-service backpack. Now, the 26-year-previous is one of the most skilled and gifted cross-nation skiers in the nation and recently made history by turning into the first American to take the podium at Tour de Ski, profitable third place. The Minnesota native is about to symbolize Team USA for the second time at the 2018 Winter Olympics and is feeling extra ready than ever. (Related: 12 Female Athletes to Watch at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics)
We had an opportunity to meet up with her on behalf of Ice Breakers and speak about some of the most necessary issues that go into her training, together with the significance of relaxation, sleep, and taking day without work all through the yr. “I think cross-country skiing is much more of a demanding and engaging sport than a lot of people realize,” Diggins says. “You’re using your entire body—your arms, your legs, your core—and maxing out on power and endurance while using speed and tactic.” (Don’t let Jessie do all the snowboarding. Here are some cross-country skiing tips for newbies.)
This summer time, Diggins educated six days every week, twice a day. “We did a ton of cardio work because cross-country skiing is an endurance sport,” Diggins says. Most mornings, Diggins and her group began with curler snowboarding—which, for individuals who won’t know, is the off-snow equal to cross-nation snowboarding. The skis themselves have wheels on their ends and are used on a tough floor (like a street or monitor) to emulate the winter sport. “It gives us a chance to practice our technique and work on our endurance without having to be on actual snow,” Diggins says.
The primary focus of this specific exercise is interval training. The staff does 10 minutes of curler snowboarding at race tempo, then slows down for 3 minutes, then goes again to race tempo once more, time and again for 2 hours straight.
That is often adopted by an enormous lunch, some relaxation time, then one other exercise. “We run for 30 minutes; then we lift for an hour and a half, focusing on the core, legs, upper arms, and back.”
You’ll in all probability like one of the most necessary elements of Diggins’ training: sleep. She manages to squeeze in 9 to 10 hours an evening, plus a 30- to 45-minute nap throughout the day. “You can only train as fast as you can recover—especially considering it takes so much for my body to heal and recuperate after working out for four hours a day, nearly every day. I don’t know how I’d survive without getting that much sleep,” Diggins says. “Taking the time to slow down and unwind is just as crucial for me as training itself,” she says. (P.S. Scientists have recognized for some time that sleep and exercise have a symbiotic relationship.)
To ensure that she catches up on her zzz’s, Diggins has gotten into the behavior of placing her telephone away half an hour earlier than stepping into mattress. “It’s hard to make yourself unavailable by ditching your phone, but I try to,” she says. “I also read pretty much every night for about an hour, so that gives me something to look forward to and helps me relax and get into sleep mode.”
Diggins is all about making the most of her day off. This yr, for example, earlier than training for the Olympics, she took a monthlong trip to Hawaii with one of her greatest pals to mentally and bodily put together for the grueling months of training and competitors forward. (Here’s why taking extended time off is good for your health.)
“Most of us are training and competing yearly from May till March, so April is the solely month we’ve got off, which is why that point is completely essential. Not to say, I have been training for the Olympics for 10 years, so doing completely nothing throughout that point is principally obligatory for me to stop damage and to not get burnt out,” she says.
And whereas getting again into the recreation after day without work, is not essentially straightforward, Diggins says it makes you that rather more grateful for a way good you are feeling. “After that vacation, I was jonesing to get back at it. I was excited to train and looked forward to it because my mind felt rejuvenated and my body was ready to crush some goals,” she says.
Looking forward, Diggins feels assured that her training out and in of the health club has helped put together her to place her greatest foot ahead at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. “There’s a lot of things in sports that are out of your control,” she says. “For me, success at these games is going to mean crossing that finish line, looking back and knowing that I gave it everything I had, left no stone unturned and did everything I possibly could. Right now, I know I’m on that path and to me, that’s worth more than any medal.”